Having unexpectedly lost her husband and lacking the means to support herself, Josie DiSanti and her two daughters take refuge in the small town of Mill River, to live with Josie's aunt, Ivy. The sisters, Rose and Emily, are inseparable growing up - until a shocking tragedy tears them apart.
Years later, Rose and Emily return to Mill River for the reading of their mother's will, where they learn that Josie would do anything to force their reconciliation: the sisters must move into neighbouring houses for the summer and work together to locate the key to Josie's safe deposit box, which contains their inheritance. And so, left with no choice, Rose and Emily reluctantly begin their search. But in a place known for its magic and miracles, little do they know that an even greater treasure awaits them...
I loved Darcie Chan's debut novel The Mill River Recluse so it has seemed like forever waiting for her next book to be published so when I was contacted by Clara at Little Brown asking whether I'd like to review The Mill River Redemption I didn't hesitate to say yes!
Back in the early 1980s Josie DiSanti sought refuge in the quaint town of Mill River with her young daughters, Rose and Emily, to stay with her only relative, her aunt Ivy. It's clear that she's afraid and on the run but over time she settles into life in Mill River and tries to build a good life for herself and her daughters.
When Josie dies thirty years later Rose and Emily return home for her wake and discover that she has set them a task to work together as part of her will, but will they be able to honour her wish when they haven't been in the same room together since a tragic event tore them apart ten years earlier?
Through recollections we are taken fluently from the past to the present as we learn about the shocking events in the family's past that had shaped the way their lives had turned out. Although I knew there was more to the story of Josie's husband's death, which we do eventually discover, it was the mystery surrounding the sisters estrangement that I was particularly intrigued with so I had to keep on reading to discover what had happened to tear them apart. I also loved the idea of the treasure hunt as a means of trying to get the two sisters together although the plan doesn't work out the way it was intended which leads to a shocking twist...
As well as getting to know Josie and her family, I loved the fact that a lot of familiar characters from The Mill River Recluse popped up from time to time so although this probably could be read as a standalone, I personally would recommend reading the first book beforehand to familiarise yourself with the town and its characters.
The Mill River Redemption was so worth the wait and I cannot wait to read more stories from Darcie Chan in the future but hopefully we won't have to wait as long for her next novel.
The Mill River Redemption by Darcie Chan (Sphere) is now available as an eBook.